Welcome to Garçonne. I created this label in my search for quality clothing that I would love to wear and also to make a move towards 'Slow Fashion'. I want to make pieces of clothing that customers will love for years, not just a season. My collection is created from my love of beautiful textiles: linens, organic cottons, soft wools and silks; my love for the softness of Cashmere and Alpaca; my love for winter and the countryside...
My inspiration for Garçonne?
I am inspired by the countryside where I live. I am inspired by all things old and beautiful. I am inspired by French workwear from the 30’s to the high-waisted pants and gorgeous dresses of the 40’s; Harris Tweed waistcoats from the 70’s to the denim overalls I wore as a child in the 80’s. A collection of timeless pieces; cherished pieces; pieces that make me want to wear them year after year.
The word Garçonne has a few different meanings to it and they all seem to bring forth the feeling and aesthetic I aim to create with my clothing. The french used it in the 20's to describe flappers - the style that deemphasized the female form and gave freedom from the constraints of previous womens' fashions by ditching corsets: I love to create shapes and forms that are comfortable to wear whilst still looking lovely...
Garçonne also means 'tomboy' and garçonne fashion traditionally embodies a boy-like silhouette. Pants with braces with a slightly '30s air. Vests and jackets over collared shirts. I have a love for this unconventional look as well as a love for more feminine shapes.
Garçonne is used today to describe the modern gentlewoman: think Tilda Swinton and Dianne Keaton.
The story behind Garçonne...
In the late 80’s I bought my first Linen shirt from Country Road. I loved it and so began my love affair with Linen. Since then I have owned so many pieces of linen clothing; linen bedding; linen curtains; linen anything really. My affair with cashmere has been almost as long, with my first purchase being a vintage cardigan found in an op-shop. Over the years I have owned many more cashmere sweaters, both new and vintage and I love them all so much.
I had been a website designer for over 10 years. Last year I decided that it no longer held the appeal that it once did and I had lost the love for it. I had thought that I would love to work with linen and cashmere somehow but didn't really know where to start. At the same time I took 6 months off work to recover from Chronic Fatigue. So I took this time to try and work out what I wanted to do with my life and where my passions were leading me.
I went to a friend who was a knitwear consultant and asked her to help me create a scarf and then some armwarmers to start a small knitwear accessories brand. I loved the process so much and I loved looking at all the colour cards from yarn suppliers. My creative juices were starting to flow again and with so many new ideas now running through my head I decided that I just had to design a range of women's knitwear, rather than just a couple of accessories. So the idea expanded. After designing all the pieces for the knitwear range, I knew this was what I was meant to be doing. I loved it so much. I was designing again and working with the most amazing cashmere yarns. I was in heaven. There was only one thing missing... Linen. My head starting running again with ideas of linen clothing that could go back with my beautiful knitwear. I could work with both linen and cashmere! What a thought. So my knitwear range expanded to become a full woman's wear range. From the humble beginnings of a scarf to the label that you see today in just over 8 months. It has been a little crazy to say the least. But I have loved every minute of it.
I hope you enjoy wearing Garçonne as much as I have enjoyed creating it.